Web Accessibility Certification
Letters of Conformance – Your Web Accessibility Certification for ADA, WCAG 2.1 & Section 508 Compliance
An accessibility certification, or Letter of Conformance, is a dated document that outlines the level of compliance with WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 guidelines. In order to make a conformance claim, there shall be no violations to WCAG 2.1 success criteria, put in place by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The W3C is an international community that works collaboratively with professionals from many companies and institutions to establish web standards.
There are different types of web accessibility certifications, but at ADA FOR WEBSITES, our primary focus is on the issuance of a Letter of Conformance. While a conformance letter may fall under the certificate category, it is not necessarily a “certificate”,
Web Accessibility Certification Considerations and Your Letter
With the help of our hands-on collaborative approach and services, achieving a website that is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1,) Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act is obtainable. Once all remediation services are administered and your website is deemed compliant with success criteria, an accessibility certification will be issued.
Criteria for Accessibility Conformance
ADA FOR WEBSITES Web Solutions follows the recommended methodology set in place by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to evaluate accessibility conformance. This methodology consists of five steps that provide a thorough examination of all digital services.
A 5-Step Methodology
Step 1: Scope of Effort Evaluation
Define the evaluation scope for all digital services, including websites and other documents, determine the accepted WCAG 2.1 target and assess if other evaluations are required. WCAG recommends Level AA as the general target.
Step 2: Evaluation of Target Website
Step 3: Representative Sample
Select a representative sample of web pages of the targeted site to be evaluated in the audit. These samples should be structured, random and complete. The actual size of these samples will be dependent on the size of the website, its age, complexity, consistency, adherence to development processes and availability of prior findings.
Step 4: Audit
Audit the selected sample and compare it to the random sample provided. The audit is completed according to five WCAG 2.1 conformance requirements, which include conformance level, full pages, complete processes, only accessibility-supported ways of using technology and non-interference. Throughout this process, we identify areas that do not conform to Section 508 or WCAG 2.1 success criteria.
Step 5: Report
Report the evaluation findings of each step and provide a detailed recommendation on how to repair the issues identified through the evaluation. These finding are confidential; however, organizations can choose to share public statements about outcomes from the evaluation.
What Does a Conformance Claim Include?
Why Have a Letter of Conformance?
Keeping Your Letter of Conformance Up To Date
Because Letters of Conformance are date-stamped, it is important to keep them up to date periodically. ADA FOR WEBSITES provides ongoing reviews to test for new web accessibility compliance issues that may have appeared since your last Letter of Conformance was created.
When Should I Renew?
As with any ongoing service, Letters of Conformance for web accessibility should be updated on an annual basis, or when sooner, if new content is released. In order to establish consistent accessibility, maintaining an updated and accurate Letter of Conformance is critical.
When follow-up reviews are performed, a new Letter will be issued and provided by ADA FOR WEBSITES. Get in touch if your validation for your Letter of Conformance is about to expire.
Now that you’ve spent the time and effort to provide an accessible website, you can advertise that achievement to your users on your website. There are badges provided to demonstrate accessibility conformance and show your users that you’ve upgraded your website to meet WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 success criteria. If the page has achieved conformance with WCAG 2.1 A, AA, or AAA, the W3C provides conformance logos that can be displayed on those specific pages. The icons provided by W3C are in reference to a single page; if more than one page is in conformance, a statement of scope can be provided with the logo.
Choose the Right Partner
ADA FOR WEBSITES Web Solutions always has our clients’ best interest in mind, with no desire to sell unnecessary services that have no worth, such as certificates. That is why we recommend Letters of Conformance.